It’s the second SpaceX launch of 2018! SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a 4200 KG satellite called GovSat-1/SES-16 to Geostationary Transfer Orbit. This satellite serves the Luxembourg Government and a commercial customer SES. This is the 2nd flight of this particular Falcon 9 1st stage, having first flown last year for the NROL-76 mission, but it will be its last.
Despite having plenty of fuel to land, they will be letting this one touch down softly in the ocean after its primary mission is over. This is because SpaceX has so many of these current block 3 boosters around which are not meant for long term reuse, and they require too much refurbishment to reuse them more than once, AND the drone ship needs to be ready for Falcon Heavy’s center core next week.
This is the third time SES has opted to fly on a previously flown booster, they were the first customers to do so March, 2017 with mission SES-10. This is the 6th reuse of a booster for SpaceX. This is the 29th launch from SpaceX’s launch pad, SLC-40, and the 48th over all launch of the Falcon 9.
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